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Jan 20, 2021

HOW TO CLEANSE TAROT CARDS WITHOUT SAGE ~ 21 Powerful Ways To Clear The Energy From Your Tarot Deck

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Why should you learn how to cleanse your Tarot cards without sage? First of all, because you may want to cleanse your Tarot cards one day, and you don’t have sage on hand.

However, one of the most important reasons is that white sage, one of the most used herbs for energy cleansing, is an endangered and overharvested species.

So, if you want to protect white sage and, at the same time, thoroughly clean your deck, you need to learn how to cleanse Tarot cards without sage.

But first things first. How do you know when you should cleanse your Tarot cards?

12 signs that you need to cleanse your Tarot cards

  • You bought your first (or a new) deck of Tarot cards.
  • You bought a second-hand deck of Tarot cards.
  • You received the Tarot deck as a gift from someone.
  • You want to sell your used Tarot deck.
  • You haven’t used that Tarot deck in a long time.
  • Someone else has touched and handled your cards (clients, friends, family).
  • You can’t connect with the cards. The readings are confusing or don’t make sense.
  • You have done a Tarot reading to someone with negative energy.
  • Your Tarot cards have been in a place charged with negative energy.
  • You did a Tarot reading when you were tired, stressed, or in a bad mood.
  • The Tarot deck was lost for a while.
  • The Tarot deck suffered an “accident” (for example, falling or spilling).

If one – or several – of these things has happened to you, it means that it is time to do an energetic cleanse to your deck. And these are the best ways to cleanse Tarot cards without sage.

How To Cleanse Tarot Cards Without Sage

Tarot cards face down with an star, two rings and a blue bracelet

1. Use crystals

Crystals have powerful cleansing properties. The best crystals for energetic cleanses are:

  • Black Tourmaline
  • Black Obsidian
  • Clear Quartz
  • Amethyst
  • Amber

In addition to absorbing, cleansing, and grounding, crystals can also amplify your tarot cards’ energy.

All you have to do is place one or more crystals on top of your Tarot deck and leave it for an hour or two, up to overnight or a whole day.

2. Wrap them in silk or velvet

This is one of my favorite methods because, in addition to cleaning the Tarot cards, it protects them.

Wrap the entire Tarot deck in a piece of silk or velvet or a bag made of these materials.

The best colors of silk and velvet for energetic cleanses are:

  • Black
  • Purple
  • Green
  • White
  • Blue

3. Store them in a wooden box

Natural materials, given their connection with nature, help absorb negative energies. An easy way to cleanse your Tarot cards is by storing them in a wooden box.

4. Bath them in Moonlight

Moonlight is a powerful energy transmuter. Not only will it clean your cards; It will also recharge them with psychic energy. Leave the deck on a windowsill to be bathed in moonlight (make sure to protect it from the weather.)

5. Bath them in Sunlight

Sunlight is the source of life! Nothing better to energetically cleanse your cards than to leave them in the sun for a while. Of course, make sure you don’t leave them out in the open for too long, or they could be damaged.

Tarot cards over a dark table with jewelery, incense, incense holder and an amethyst

6. Use Incense

If you like using incense for spiritual practices, you will love to know that you can also use it to cleanse your cards.

Just as incense smoke purifies spaces, it will also purify your deck. Light an incense stick and move it around the Tarot deck to wrap it in its smoke.

7. Use Palo Santo

An alternative to incense (and sage) is using Palo Santo. As with incense, the idea is to purify the Tarot cards with its smoke.

8. Snap your fingers

I learned this technique from an experienced tarot reader. She taught me that to “break” the cards’ negative energy, all you have to do is pick up the Tarot deck with one hand and snap your fingers around it with the other.

This method works not only for Tarot cards but for other objects and people, and even for clearing the energy around you.

9. Use Salt

Since ancient times, salt has been considered a powerful cleaner at all levels. There are three methods of cleansing cards with salt:

  • a. Make a circle of salt around the Tarot deck and leave it there overnight.
  • b. Place a handful of coarse salt in a small bag and leave the bag over the Tarot deck overnight.
  • c. Put your cards in a sealed bag, and put the bag in a container with salt. Cover the sealed bag with the cards as much as possible with the salt, and leave them there overnight.

10. Smudge with other herbs

If you have herbs and leaves of plants and trees on hand, you can make smudge sticks without sage. You can add herbs like thyme and rosemary, lavender flowers, and eucalyptus or juniper leaves.

Brown flask with lavender flowers, three rocks and two purple candles over a white table

11. Use essential oils

I already mentioned how smoke purifies environments. What you may not know is that natural aromas do it too! All you have to do is place your Tarot cards next to an essential oil diffuser.

The best essential oils for energy cleansing are:

  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Frankincense
  • Bergamot

12. Blow on the cards

Do you have little time and few resources at hand? No problem: you can clean your Tarot cards by simply blowing gently on them three times.

13. Knock on the deck

Another quick and easy way to clean your Tarot deck is by simply laying it on a firm surface (like a table) and knocking on it three times (as if you were gently knocking on the door.)

14. Cutting and shuffling

Have you ever wondered how tarot readers serve many clients using the same Tarot deck if they don’t have time to do a cleansing process between clients? Well, this is the technique that many professional tarotists use. All that is required is to cut and shuffle the cards vigorously.

Of course, most will give them a deeper cleanse with one of the other methods at the end of the day.

Brown flask with lavender flowers, three rocks and two purple candles over a white table

15. Ring a bell

This method was taught to me by an old witch friend. She always had a little bell on the table where she did Tarot readings. To clean her Tarot cards, she fanned them out and rang a bell over them.

16. Use plants

Plants purify environments, make them more cheerful … and help you cleanse your Tarot cards too!

Leave the Tarot deck next to your favorite houseplant overnight. Or put the cards in a sealed bag, and leave them in the garden next to your favorite plant or tree. I love hanging mines from a tree branch to cleanse them!

17. Meditation and visualization

The advantage of using meditation and visualization to cleanse your Tarot cards is that it allows you to kill two birds with one stone: you cleanse the cards and yourself at the same time.

To do this, sit down comfortably, take the Tarot deck in your hands, and close your eyes. Imagine a bright white ball of light coming down and surrounding you. Visualize small dark droplets coming out of your body and out of the cards, being absorbed by the ball of light that surrounds you.

Stay like this for a few minutes until you feel more relaxed and light. When you are ready, open your eyes, and you will have finished the energy cleanse.

18. Reiki

This technique is for those who are initiated in Reiki. That is why I will not give you instructions on how to do it. If you are an initiate, do with your cards as you would cleanse a person.

19. Place them on an altar

If you have an altar or a special spiritual place in your home, an area where positive energy is concentrated, all you have to do is leave your cards there to be cleansed.

Two singing bowls, one big and one small, over a piece of purple fabric, with two burning candles and two incense sticks

20. Use singing bowls

If you are lucky enough to have singing bowls, you can use them to clean your cards!

I like to do this by fanning out the entire deck and then using the singing bowls to create a purifying sound all around.

21. Use harmonizing music

But you don’t need to have singing bowls to clean your cards with music. Any harmonious music will work. You just have to leave the Tarot deck for a while next to the music source, like a radio, speakers, or even your smartphone while playing music.


For both practical and ecological reasons, it is worth learning how to cleanse Tarot cards without sage.

And the day your cards are ready to be retired, follow these tips to get rid of Tarot cards safely.

Do you know any other method to clean a Tarot deck without sage? Please share it in the comments! And if you liked this post, share it on social media!

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